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02:25

USA: Activists hand out 'Stand with Hong Kong' T-shirts at NBA opener

United States, Los Angeles
October 23, 2019 at 08:34 GMT +00:00 · Published

A group of activists handed out around 13,000 T-shirts emblazoned with "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong" outside the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, ahead of the first NBA game of the season between Lakers and Clippers.

The move came as a reaction against Lakers player LeBron James' calling Houston Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey's now-deleted tweet supporting the anti-government protests in Hong Kong "misinformed."

Footage shows one of the activists holding a sign depicting LeBron James with Chinese notes glued on his mouth, and which read "King of Chinese money."

The organiser of the protest, Sun, explained that "you should be able to at least appreciate your right of free speech, and appreciate that other people should have the right too. So when he [LeBron James] says, Oh people should be careful what they say, be careful what you tweet.' I mean, that is a chilling effect right there, right? That reflects the priorities of frankly a totalitarian government that is trying to silence one side of this debate by using billions and billions of dollars."

Sun reportedly raised almost $43,000 (€38,650) through a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of this protest.

While Morey has deleted his October 4 tweet, Chinese companies and networks including state-run television network CCTV, streaming service Tencent and online shopping giant Alibaba suspended NBA broadcasts and product listings, after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver initially voiced his support for the Houston Rockets general manager.

02:25
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Description

A group of activists handed out around 13,000 T-shirts emblazoned with "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong" outside the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, ahead of the first NBA game of the season between Lakers and Clippers.

The move came as a reaction against Lakers player LeBron James' calling Houston Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey's now-deleted tweet supporting the anti-government protests in Hong Kong "misinformed."

Footage shows one of the activists holding a sign depicting LeBron James with Chinese notes glued on his mouth, and which read "King of Chinese money."

The organiser of the protest, Sun, explained that "you should be able to at least appreciate your right of free speech, and appreciate that other people should have the right too. So when he [LeBron James] says, Oh people should be careful what they say, be careful what you tweet.' I mean, that is a chilling effect right there, right? That reflects the priorities of frankly a totalitarian government that is trying to silence one side of this debate by using billions and billions of dollars."

Sun reportedly raised almost $43,000 (€38,650) through a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of this protest.

While Morey has deleted his October 4 tweet, Chinese companies and networks including state-run television network CCTV, streaming service Tencent and online shopping giant Alibaba suspended NBA broadcasts and product listings, after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver initially voiced his support for the Houston Rockets general manager.

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